Definition of Phoenician in English:



  • 1A member of a Semitic people inhabiting ancient Phoenicia and its colonies. The Phoenicians prospered from trade and manufacturing until the capital, Tyre, was sacked by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.

    • ‘In ancient times the islands were inhabited by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians.’
    • ‘The Phoenicians in southern Lebanon traded spices as far west as Spain and Cornwall.’
    • ‘Beginning in the ninth century BC, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Celts entered the Iberian Peninsula.’
    • ‘So were suggestions to re-create the old map of the Middle East with kingdoms of Hittites, Phoenicians and Ammonites.’
    • ‘I was in Beirut, at the National Museum, enjoying the wonders of the ancient Phoenicians with my husband.’
    • ‘Carthage was a city-state on the Greek model that had been founded by Phoenicians from Tyre in the 8th century.’
    • ‘Once the trade capital of East Africa, Zanzibar attracted Sumerians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Chinese and Malays, giving the city a distinct culture and history from mainland Tanzania.’
    • ‘In antiquity Gibraltar belonged in turn to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Visigoths.’
    • ‘Use of saffron was especially noticeable in the west of England, and some believe that it had arrived there long before the 14th century via the Phoenicians and their tin trade with Cornwall.’
    • ‘Her theories are reminiscent of the diffusionist theories that argue that Native Americans were descended from the lost tribes of Israel, the Welsh, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and/or the Chinese.’
    • ‘Some of the elements of marketing orientation can be traced far back to ancient Greece, the Phoenicians, and the Venetian traders.’
    • ‘Renan, too, remarks that the population of Galilee was very mixed, and that the province had many inhabitants who were not Jews, but Phoenicians, Syrians, Arabs, and even Greeks.’
    • ‘This includes uncovering and preserving the most marvellous sites dating back thousands of years from the Phoenicians to the Romans.’
    • ‘Originally the Phoenicians, and later the Carthaginians, established ports and trading settlements on the island.’
    • ‘The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines ruled all or parts of Libya.’
    • ‘The Egyptians, Phoenicians and Hittites practised it as a special ritual in conjunction with the presentation of the dowry.’
    • ‘Dave and I established a programme of conservation for the site, and we were also keen to dispel the myth of the colonial period that the site could not have been built by indigenous people but only by outsiders such as Phoenicians or Arabs.’
    • ‘The catalog of every possible unfortunate scenario will complete the work of the ancient Phoenicians and the early Christian theologians.’
    • ‘The growth of his power, allied to Theron's, alarmed Anaxilas of Messana, Terillus of Himera, and the Phoenicians; and from 483, Carthage prepared for war.’
    • ‘Leathernecked Marines mingled with Greeks and Persians, Egyptians and Carthaginians, Phoenicians and Arabs, sending shore parties to what could be the hottest spots and securing the beacheads.’
  • 2mass noun The Semitic language of the Phoenicians, written in an alphabet that was the ancestor of the Greek and Roman alphabets.

    • ‘Thus it is much closer to other Northwest Semitic languages such as Hebrew or Phoenician, than to languages outside that group, such as Arabic or Babylonian.’
    • ‘I mean, it's from the Amorites and from the Arcadians ever earlier that we have the Semitic language coming in, which is the basis for Phoenician, for Aramaic, for Hebrew and for the Arabic languages.’
    • ‘He uttered some unintelligible sounds, which might have been Hebrew or Phoenician, but completed his victory over his audience, who could make nothing of what he said, beyond the constant repetition of the names Apollo and Asclepius.’
    • ‘It was the ultimate ancestor of all later alphabets, such as those used for Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, Latin, English, French, Russian, the languages of the Indian subcontinent, and those of Ethiopia.’
    • ‘Pleas in Aztec, in Phoenician, English, Germanic- and forgotten Spanish dialects muttered in her ears.’


  • Relating to Phoenicia, its people, or its language.

    • ‘We are the descendants of one nation, Spain, which cannot be understood without its racial multiplicity and Celt-Iberian, Greek, Phoenician, Roman, Arabic, Judaic, Gothic linguistic system.’
    • ‘Some of them are Phoenician and Roman and even Chinese; beads were currency for salt.’
    • ‘The first part of the journey was along highways that led to large Phoenician freeways.’
    • ‘In Phoenician eyes, none of this was terribly important: kidnapping women was bad, but not the sort of thing to get very upset about, for it is obvious that that no young woman allows herself to be abducted if she does not wish to be.’
    • ‘Next summer, the group will assist Mr Ballard in searches for Phoenician and Minoan ships in the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘However, Phoenician ships use to import tin from Cornwall to make bronze during these times.’
    • ‘The founder of Stoicism was Zeno, a Cypriot of Phoenician or Jewish descent.’
    • ‘There is speculation that the island site destroyed by Esarhaddon and by later further earthquakes may have contained the palace of the Phoenician king and other Phoenician buildings and fortifications.’
    • ‘Exiled during his youth, which fell in a period of Phoenician domination, he gathered some 50 followers at Soli in Cilicia, and with their help established himself as ruler of Salamis in 411.’
    • ‘It was most probably the early Phoenician settlers at Carthage who introduced viticulture to that region of North Africa.’
    • ‘The Phoenician colony of Carthage became an imperial centre in its own right, and Greek cities such as Syracuse, in Sicily, rivalled the biggest of the city-states in Greece.’
    • ‘In 1902, Neal wrote a report stating that the architecture was clearly Phoenician or Arabian.’
    • ‘Caesarea stands as a monument to assimilation, the capital of an independent Berber kingdom of North Africa, where Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Egyptian influences found an equal home.’
    • ‘The site became important for Phoenician trade too, and among a number of notable finds there is a hoard of 400 Phoenician ivories.’
    • ‘It's much more complicated and interesting than that, with evidence of Chinese, West African, Viking, Phoenician and other colonies and camps all around North and South America, throughout history.’
    • ‘With it appears the figure of Astarte, Phoenician goddess of fertility and passion whose symbol is the twin horns of the bull.’
    • ‘The Garonne, Loire, Seine, and Rhine led them to the northern Atlantic communities in contrast to the Phoenician sea route which led to Iberia.’
    • ‘I don't know if my Sicilian family is Greek and Phoenician in descent.’
    • ‘Numerous shrines honored all kinds of deities - Roman, Greek, Babylonian, Phoenician, Syrophoenician, all kinds.’
    • ‘The initial impetus for this remarkable commercial adventure was the Assyrian demand for large quantities of silver which the Phoenician middle-men obtained for them from the metal-rich region of south-western Iberia.’